Effects of Cyclone Gita

There has been widespread wind damage and flooding as Cyclone Gita passed over New Zealand, with the lower North Island and top half of the South Island worst affected. Some roads have been closed due to storm surge damage.

MetService meteorologist Karl Loots said former cyclone Gita passed over the South Island in the early hours of Wednesday morning, and by 5am was east of Banks Peninsula.

“Really the heavy rain now is focused from Canterbury down to Otago this morning, then that gradually eases. As well, we’ve still got gale force winds about Banks Peninsula and other exposed places in Canterbury, that’s all easing during this morning.”

Wellington Police are warning motorists that State Highway One is closed between Pukerua Bay and Paekakariki after it sustained weather damage overnight. The road was closed around 12:30am this morning as the high tide was washing across both lanes.

Fire and Emergency spokesman Joss Debreceny said firefighters had responded to more than 400 weather-related callouts between 2pm on Tuesday and 5am Wednesday.

Taranaki, Tasman and the West Coast were the busiest areas, with many callouts to roofs lifting, fallen trees and power lines, and flooding of houses and businesses.

Christchurch received about 50 per cent less rain on Tuesday night than forecast and high tide has passed without any major incidents.

There is still half a day of heavy rain and gale force winds possible for some areas, especially the east coast of the South Island as Gita heads southwards to the east of the country.

However it doesn’t look to have been as bad (so far) as some predictions.

Highest rainfall yesterday (from Metservice):

  • Wainuiomata 108.6 mm
  • Farewell Spit 105.4 mm
  • Kaikoura 92.8 mm
  • Ashburton Airport 82.2 mm (20 mm up to 6 am today)
  • Blenheim Airport 81.4 mm

Windiest yesterday:

  • Westport Airport 119 km/h
  • Whanganui Airport 109 km/h
  • Kelburn, Wellington 109 km/h
  • New Plymouth Airport 104 km/h
  • Kaikoura 96 km/h

So widespread wet and wind but not particularly bad.

Stuff summary so far (yet to ctach up overnight) WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

– Gita has been downgraded to an ex-tropical cyclone. It’s caused mass disruption as it hits New Zealand.

– States of emergency have been declared in Taranaki, Nelson Tasman region, Selywn district, Grey district, Buller, Westland and Christchurch.

– Kaikōura is cut off after the Inland Rd was closed just after 8pm. State Highway 1 north of Kaikōura, from Mangamaunu to Clarence, and south between Peketa and Goose Bay, has been closed as of 8.30am.

– The Defence Force has been deployed in Takaka and has unimogs to help transport people, Nelson City Council communications manager Paul Shattock says.

– Air New Zealand cancelled all flights in and out of Wellington from 2.45pm until midnight Tuesday. It also cancelled services in and out of Hokitika, Nelson, New Plymouth, and Queenstown. A number of flights into Wellington airport are cancelled on Wednesday morning but operations look set to resume as normal from 7am.

– Its effects have been felt from the Taranaki district to Greymouth.

– There is a chance of coastal inundation from the Kāpiti Coast south and on the Kaikōura Coast.

– MetService has issued a severe weather watchsevere weather warnings, and coastal warnings.

– Information about how to get ready and keep safe can be found here.

17 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  February 21, 2018

    Ex-cyclone Gita was shown on Aljazeera NZ midnight news weather report with a short video clip of a flooded stream flowing over a road down South & brief commentary on wind damage & rainfall – mentioned a record 24-hour rainfall for Kaikoura.

    Here in Tawa, apart from steady rain from yesterday midnight until about 3pm – when it eased off to light showers that ceased sometime early this morning – we haven’t felt the full force of Gita at all.

    It was an oddly calm day wind-wise & even now, when I can see from the weatherwatch windmap that the cyclone centre’s split in two & that the centre reportedly whizzed quickly thru Cook Straight late last night, it’s was mostly calm here, with occasional random-direction wind gusts & grey skies.

    We seem to have escaped the brunt of it. The average windy day or normal short storm in North Welly is much worse. But it’s still good to have been warned of potential for damage & taken precautions – & the high seas have closed the main highway North into Wellington – as noted.

    Taranaki, Nelson, West Coast & East Coast of the South Island seem worst hit.

  2. Ray

     /  February 21, 2018

    So was it over hyped or not.
    Certainly in my home district there doesn’t seem to be any flooding after a couple of inches of rain.
    I am presently in Melbourne and using the suspect ecan figures on rainfall etc,
    Judging on other storms Dunedin can’t manage much over an inch of rain if delivered smartly.

    • Gezza

       /  February 21, 2018

      I don’t think it was over-hyped. It’s very difficult to predict the exact effects of a large storm approaching & hitting NZ Ray because our topography seems to affect what happens to it quite differently depending where it makes landfall.

      The forecasters were pretty good at identifying the most likely areas of impact, & the wind velocity in some places, & the sea swell sizes, & the rainfall amounts.

      It seems to have stalled a bit. I saw the split centre vortexes on the windmap at midnight (impressive how one’s piled up against the SI West Coast & Alps, & the other’s circling off Christchurch) & looking at them now they don’t seem to have changed position much.

      I’ve just been outside & its still occasionally gusty – cool Southerly now – but we have blue skies.
      07.18

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  February 21, 2018

        The windmap has a forecast option. You can advance three hours or a day at a time up to several days. Or go backwards.

      • Gezza

         /  February 21, 2018

        One correction – I think the media over-hyped damage in Wellington Central/South yesterday during the day – which was a weeny bit of surface flooding normal on long wet days, & one downed power-pole, from what I could see. Flights continued over my place all day. Possibly more damage in there overnight, but I’d think not much.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  February 21, 2018

      It crossed the country further south than usual which got the forecasters and civil defence excited I think. But it was much further offshore up north than usual so actually less destructive.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  February 21, 2018

        I suppose that it’s better to prepare for it being worse than not.

  3. Gezza

     /  February 21, 2018

    I hope we won’t be having any more disgraceful attacks on politicians’ unborn babies from yesterday’s offender today.

    • Gezza

       /  February 21, 2018

      Oops wrong thread. 😒

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  February 21, 2018

        Disgraceful attacks ?

        • Gezza

           /  February 21, 2018

          Shocking. Only an alt righty would go that far.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  February 21, 2018

            Where was this ?

            Demmit, I only came online to see how the cyclone was doing.

            We had some rain, a bit of wind that was just ordinary wind and that was it. I filled a thermos just in case, but no power cuts, no monsoons, no nothing.

  4. Zedd

     /  February 21, 2018

    I think the Met. service do the right thing, by highlighting the estimated path of the storm/cyclone.. BUT again the media seem to have made it sound much worse than it perhaps, really was.
    Heavy rain down here in Dn overnight, but no surface flooding at my place, in Sth D.. as in 2015.. fingers crossed it will just keep moving away, as they said :/

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  February 21, 2018

      108mm is a LOT of rain. Ours was just ordinary rain.

      I am thankful that it was no worse than it really was, which was bad enough.

  5. Zedd

     /  February 21, 2018

    I just took my dog for a walk.. I thought it was supposed to clear early arvo.. still showers coming down & about 12degs.

    I saw a news story, they had SNOW on the mountains..